tv Inside Washington ABC January 10, 2010 9:00am-9:30am EST
>> this is my moment to step aside. >> this week on "inside washington," two prominent senate democrats announced their retirements. as a result, there is joy in talk radioville. >> these democrats drag the obama kool-aid, and they are committing political suicide. >> but are reports of their pending demise greatly exaggerated? >> i am less interested in passing and blamed than i am in learning from and correcting these mistakes to make us safer.
for ultimately, the buck stops with me. >> the white house releases the report on the christmas day underwear bomber. it is not a happy tail. >> this is a winter of reckoning. >> governor's cry out in pain as they feel the effects of the battered economy. and guns in an nba locker room. no laughing matter. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- mark twain once came back to the united states from london and said the newspaper reports of his death had been greatly exaggerated. democratic leaders argue that is the case and washington following the news that two democratic senators and a democratic governor had decided not to stand for reelection. north dakota senator byron dorgan, elected in 1992 after serving 12 years in the house,
is stepping down, and so senator chris dodd, who was elected in 1980. byron dorgan's announcement took a lot of people by surprise, but chris dodd was the first to acknowledge that he was facing an uphill battle for reelection. >> i am very aware of my present political standing here at home in connecticut. but it is equally clear that any search and predictioabout an election victory or defeat -- to a prediction about an election victory or defeat nearly a year from now would be absurd. >>dodd, dorgan, colorado gov. bill ritter all standing aside following republican victories in gubernatorial races in virginia and new jersey. is the handwriting on the wall for democrats, mark? >> it is somewhere. i'm not sure it is on the wall. maybe the ceiling on the floor is not good news. chris dodd, who is one of my favorite people in all of washington, but may very well have stayed too long. chris dodd, who in private is
one of the most disarming, natural, unaffected,n itpretentious people you'll ever meet -- unpretentious people will ever meet, when he stands before a podium, eyes glaze over. the irony is, of course -- his chances -- his leaving improve the chances the democrats holding on to the seat in connecticut. that is not the case in north dakota. byron dorgan had a special relationship with that state, congressman at lge, senator, and there is nobody there -- are a pomeroy, congressman at large, democrat, will run for reelection in the house. on balance, is not good news for democrats. >> when you consider what the democrats were a year ago, winning a smashing victory in the presidency and the house and senate, conservatives really in disarray, nowhere to go and no
leadership, the turnaround over this year is remarkable. i think it is attributable to one thing -- obama over-read his mandate and when left in the direction that the country was not ready to go, and what we're seeing is the fruits of that. however, there still is a year. as long as there is a year to go, as opposed to a year which has passed, in this coming year, it could reverse as well. i don't think the republicans ought to be assuming there is going to be a smashing success in november yet. >> colby? >> all that said, i don't think there's a likelihood that democrats will lose control of the house or senate, but i think that obama is likely to lose his veto-proof senate and the democratic margins in the house will be smaller. he will have a tough year ahead of him. his last year may have been his best year of the two.
>> nina? >> i think it is attributable to one thing, but it is the economy, saistupid. as long as you have double-digit unemployment, the president and party in power has a lot of grief. it is not even a year, is nine months. i would not predict which way is going to go at all. the economy gets better, then democrats maday eke it out somehow. >> 10% unemployment, 85,000 jobs lost. harry reid, barbara boxer, blanche lincoln -- what is safe and what is not? >> blanche lincoln in arkansas, have agreed in nevada are the two that republicans are hopeful -- have you read in nevada are the two the republicans or -- harry reid in nevada are the two
that the republicans are hopeful about. chris dodd stepping down will probably keep that seat democratic. and north dakota -- a popular governor, republican would probably win. >> what about new york state? >> rudy giuliani has chosen the private sector after his disastrous presidential race in 2008, which is probably good for republicans. george pataki, has flirted with it, but does not want to run. rick lazio is the only contender. but even an old ford -- even harold ford is considering running, and that is good news for republicans. david paterson, at the democratic governor, is by most accounts unelectable. in massachusetts, there is a
good chance that a republican could defeat deval patrick, the governor. in delaware, a longtime former governor and congressman at large -- there is a lot of places where there is encouraging news for republicans. >> in massachusetts, the numbers are narrowing -- >> for ted kennedy apostasy. -- ted kennedy's sea. >> the pennsylvania seat held by all inspector could be in jeopardy, to -- heldy arlen specter could be in jeopardy, too. >> we have republicans -- have a bunch of republicans leaving. >> chris van hollen, you had on, democratic chairman of the house campaign committee -- when republicans had a big year in 1994, picked up 52 house seats,
30 of those seats were open seats -- that is, they were retired in spirit 95% of incumbents still get reelected, and in bad times were good times. the good chance for the party to take over a seat is when there is open -- when it is open, no incumbent. up until now, democratic retirements are limited. >> could i add one thing on chris dodd and his swan song? i thought it was a gracious speech, and unusual in a classy way that he admitted that one of the reasons he is leaving is because he is in trouble, and secondly, where he said help that it is one of the people who step out of politics -- how pathetic it is that other people is about politics say it is to spend time with their family. i think he is right about that. i think it ought to be a law that any time a person and declares he is running for office, he is required to insert it into the announcement speech that he is doing it in order to spend less time with
his family. >> remember when john madden said when he quit football for the first time, that it was me, said when he quit football for the first time, that it was me, the dog, of the mailman, because once there was a thing called paper money. it had to be passed hand to hand. it had to be mailed. it had to be locked away. then visa used technology, turning money into electrons. zeroes. ones. digital currency. digital currency did things paper money couldn't. amazing things. a merchant in mumbai makes a mobile transaction with a bank in london.
a taxi in new york says "yes" to fares without cash. states like nebraska distribute benefits without mailing checks, saving millions. digital currency became the currency of progress, because progress is what it brings the world. visa. currency of progress. a lecture on physics in california ...is watched in milwaukee. an american soldier overseas ...keeps up with his classes back home. a father helps his daughter find the name of saturn's largest moon. education's about opportunity and broadband's become the great equalizer. learning, at the speed of light.
made possible by continuing private investment and innovation, making the internet faster, smarter and safer. broadband is working for america. >> as president, i have a solemn responsibility to protect our nation and people, and when the system fails, it is my responsibility. >> the president accepts responsibility for the intelligence failure of the christmas day bombing plot as the white house releases a report on the event. security officials did like the would-be bomber, but only after he was already airborne to detroit. colby, i am no expert on airline security, but i would think you want to keep the cut off the airplane before he gets on it. >> nice idea. i said earlier in the week,
commenting on what the administration has done on this question, that i found it not very reassuring. even after the president spoke and we heard from brennan and also homeland security secretary napolitano, i am still not reassured. when you get down to the substance of what is being recommended, you end up saying, "g, i thought they had done that already. what is new about this?" it is nice that the president -- i don't mean to sound condescending -- that he has taken "the buck stops here," but the team he has around him just fails, in my view, to make me feel like they know what they doing. there is boosterism. i don't care that he says to the president, "i have failed you." i don't care about that. it is irrelevant.
what i am interested in is performance, and when i don't see is any reassurance -- >> colby is right about this recommendations. the first directive that he mentioned in the speech he gave this week is that a high priority intelligence will be dealt with efficiently. well, there is something remarkable. you would assume that that would already be happening. >> he would assume that that would be happening for nine years. we have been at this for nine years and we are better off than we were nine years ago, but i imagine this is going to keep happening, in any administration. it is going to keep happening, and if we're lucky, it is not -- the plane does not explode. but it is the nature of this ece that it cannot be perfect. >> the real scandal is what happened afterwards. the president does not have control of all elements of our intelligence. if there is a mistake in the embassy in nigeria, that is out
of his control. but once the guy is apprehended, and this is a guy who had active intelligence -- he just spent fo months in yemen and we are told that yemen is the new, active, hostile threat -- spent four months there, and there are people who armed him and train him that he knows about, he starts singing right away. what is the obama administration do? it immediately gives him a lawyer and miranda rights and shut him up. that is unbelievably irresponsible and almost criminal. >> according to reports, he is not shut up and is continuing to talk and give a valuable information. >> that is not what brennan said. >> he could shut up. >> this is not what we have had in the past, aailure to share intelligence. this was a failure, quite
honestly, to integrate and respond to the intelligence and they did have. i think the sense of urgency was missing. i think it is important that we reenergize, -- that ate reenergi -- it be reenergized. but you never get the thread down to zero. you just cannot. obviously, you have a battle over privacy and security, and i think security is going to prevail . >> i spent a fair amount of time in northern ireland and they had british soldiers on every street corner, rooftops, looking out windows, and still the ira got through. >> we need an attitude adjustment. this is not a spectator sport where we sit back and watch and say, what is going on in yemen, afghanistan, iraq, what is going on in homeland security.
we have to be concerned about what is happening right here on the ground, that means having a complete different orientation to the threat. what i think is missing is that sense of urgency. i still cannot get over the idea that the man who is responsible for counterintelligence, the day after christmas, goes off on vacation for seven days. it is his watch. i lened as a young second lieutenant that you are responsible for everything people do. he was supposed to stay his post. >> if we need an attitude adjustment, and charles is right about what we do for these folks, congress has absolutely washed its hands of dealing who with who we detain and how we detain them until congress actually joins with the administration and passes some sort of legislation on that, we
do not have an attitude adjustment. >> i know that director and he did leave two days after christmas. obviously, the president look at it and has come in fact, decided to keep him. he did, not in fact, and some have been critical of barack, -- he did, in fact, and some of the critical of obama, say that this is my job. so, now with fios, you have facebook and twitter on your tv.
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it. >> gov. david paterson of new york, gov. arnold schwarzenegger of california. tillman, we feel your pain unemployment, the latest figures at -- gentleman, we feel your pain. and a plymouth, the latest figures at 10%. >> this is an amendment in california that the state will not spend more on prisons than it does on higher education, which it does now. the jewel of public education in the united states come from k-12 to by the university college system, is now a basket case. it is a tragedy. we have a political ethic in this country that has operated for the past 25 years, and that is tax cut, tax cut, tax cut, i will never ask you to be a citizen and pick up the burden. >> in the case of california, it is hard to have sympathy for a
state was spending recklessly in the good years. i will give you one example they decided was -- they decided it was in the interest of its own stanzel policy to get $3 billion for a referendum on the stem cells, which is not a state issue, but a national issue, and it is 8a slush font whose research has produced almost nothing to it white a steelworker in estate ought to be taxed to bailout california is beyond me. >> the governors actually are pretty realistic. here in california, you have a republican governor saying to the legislature that we are putting people in prisons for too long for small crimes, and bellona the budget -- ballooned the budget while we are missing with the jewel of their education system.
in new york, david paterson is in terrible trouble, and politically worthless. but he actually makes sense in terms of looking at what the state has to do in terms of its policies, in terms of money. and the legislature, just as in california, just fiddles while rome burns. >> schwarzenegger also supported health care reform and now says it is going to kill them in california. >> and the legislatures have the capacity to address the problems. they have the authority and the capacity. they don't have the will to address them. this is true not only of some of the governors, but certainly the legislatures, in new york state, california, and we are going to see it in virginia, and maryland. they are all challenge. even the d.c. council in the nation's capital are challenged to do something about it. they have the ability to do it. let's see if they have the guts
to do it. >> they don't. some of them are corrupt, some of them are politically craven. >> you have albany, which is a total disaster. albany ought to be eliminated from the m. [laughter] it is a sea of corruption and cronyism. albany, new york. >> are you talking about a nuclear strike? >> and neutron bomb wjla.co w -- a neutron bomb. in california -- nina is absolutely right. when you are only there for six years, it guarantees that lobbyist interests are dominant. the cycle continues and is not a virtuous cycle.
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>> i am a goofball, and that is what i am, so even with a plan like this, i am going to make fun of it. >> nba all-star gilbert arenas not making fun of it now nba commissioner david stern suspended him indefinitely for having guns in the locker room. >> sterne was trying to figure out what was the appropriate response, and then arenas made it possible not to do something severe when he pointed his finger like that -- made it impossible not to do something to do when he pointed his finger like that at one of his teammates with a photographer present. >> what is the message for kids? >> it is simple, and i write about it in the column -- a good jump shot is not indicative of cal -- of character. just like an individual who likes to chase cocktail waitresses may still have a good swing of the golf club, just as
grown men on the football field act like mature little boys, the point is that athleticism is not synonymous with integrity, fidelity, or common sense. if we can get that across, that that is not where to look for the role models, we might get somewhere. >> maybe we should get it across to the athletes. >> a man of real integrity and social conscience was the late owner of the wizards, a pabe pollin, and you are almost grateful that he died before he could see this. he changed the name of e team, the bullets, which had a long and distinguished history, because it would send the wrong message, and he probably lost a lot of money doing it, but it meant a lot to him in. to have a member of his team in the verizon center in a gun issue would have broken his
heart. >> i loved sports, because it makes no difference whether your family arrived on the mayflower or you got your 20 minutes ago -- if you can hit a curveball, you can hit a curveball. it is very egalitarian an american in that sense. but this is the antithesis of that. if you are a gifted athlete, by the age of 12 he is on scholarship, and teachers, and coaches, college presidents look the other way as long as he is putting people in the seats, money in the conference. it is out is an indefensible. money in the conference. it is out is an indefensible. >> last word.
a lecture on physics in california ...is watched in milwaukee an american soldier overseas ...keeps up with his classes back home. a father helps his daughter find the name of saturn's largest moon. education's about opportunity and broadband's become the great equalizer. learning, at the speed of light. made possible by continuing private investment and innovation, making the internet faster, smarter and safer. broadband is working for america.